INVESTIGATING LIFESTYLE, EATING BEHAVIORS, OBESITY, AND ORTHOREXIA NERVOSA AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS
Lifestyle and eating behaviors change during the academic year. The aim of the study was to assess the lifestyle, eating behaviors, the presence of obesity, and orthorexia nervosa among students enrolled in medical studies in Romanian faculties. Data collected from 231 students gathered sociodemographic, medical, as well as anthropometric and psychological information. The statistical analyses were performed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows, version 24.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). To identify the presence of orthorexia nervosa, the Düsseldorf Orthorexia Scale was used. The research identified that almost 70% of students have a normal status. Less than half of the students (42%, N = 97) consumed food supplements with the aim of improving cognitive performance during exam sessions. Students registered M = 3.02 ± 1.36 hours of physical activity per week. More than half of the students (53.7%, N = 124) estimated that they spent between 2 and 5 hours a day in front of screens. The collected data identified the presence of orthorexia nervosa in 6.1% of students, and 16.5% were evaluated as being at risk. More correlations were identified. Healthy lifestyles are difficult be maintained during academic years, and specific attention should be paid to dietary patterns and physical activity. Psychoeducation should be an important aspect of medical students’ personal and professional development.
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